Lulu is as good as new


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Lulu spent the day yesterday at the Blandford Animal Hospital getting spayed, something that we were all on board doing because it is the responsible thing to do as a pet owner. The staff according to our daughter was so very impressed at how healthy Lulu looked, compared to how they had seen her when she had been first rescued at the beginning of this year.

Our daughter told us about Lulu’s change in demeanor entering the  Animal Hospital as opposed to her attitude when our daughter picked her up later that day. Lulu is an extremely friendly dog and when she arrived at the hospital she was excited to see everyone; when she was picked up, our daughter told us that she was a completely different dog, the look on her face was a little accusatory “Mommy what did you let them do?” She got over it very quickly once she got home and Jack welcomed her with open arms and a good sniffover to make sure that she was  still in one piece.

She had no ill side effects after the procedure and she joins our group of dogs who have all shrugged off their birth control procedures as if nothing had deen done to them. We have been extraordinarily lucky with all of our dogs and I count our blessings with each of them everyday.

Daily prompt: Take that Rosetta!


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If you could wake up tomorrow and be fluent in any language you don’t currently speak, which would it be? Why? What’s the first thing you do with your new linguistic skills?

I would love to be able to snap my fingers and speak German fluently, there is something so sexy and commandeering about German the language has always had an appeal for me. Is it because the descriptives that the German language brings to my mind are so different than how I see myself and that perhaps speaking German fluently would allow me to access those traits every once in a while; I don’t know. There is just something about hearing German that makes my ears wake up and my mind strain to understand. I also adore the complexity of the words, often the more complicated the word, the simpler the definition. Here are two examples:

glücklich, fröhlich is happy

Flugafen is airport 

I love those words!

Nature always finds a way


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When we arrived at my mother’s, I was surprised at how many daffodils were in bloom and there are a few tulips poised to bloom later on as well. My surprise comes from the fact that last year, my mother hired a professional to landscape her front garden, he did a beautiful job, but part of the original concept was that there would no longer be spring time bulbs, it was supposed to be an orderly and manicured garden with the blooms appearing later on during the summer months.



As you can see from these pictures from last year, he did a gorgeous job, my only criticism was that he had not taken the time to go through the soil and weed through everything that was undesirable; simply turning the dirt over doesn’t really change the composition of the garden, the shoots won’t go away, they will simply sprout somewhere else in the form of SURPRISE!. As the sage idiom goes “nature always finds a way”

Sharing my gardens with the locals


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My Yucca has once again suffered from the winter hibernational needs of the locals; I’m not sure who, it could be the bunny, the wood chuck or something else, this year I am not upset by it in the least. The first time it happened I was quite put out, but once I saw that Yucca had come back stronger than before, I quickly got over my frustration. I am leaning towards a wood chuck because the damage done is pretty big, the suspect got some substantial relief from the elements and got a lot of nutritional value to boot.



As I continued with the side garden cleanup, I was happy to see that two of the baby rose bush shoots that I had transplanted last year survived the harsh winter. I was so doubtful of their survival because they were so tiny when I had transplanted them and by the time winter had rolled around, they hadn’t gotten much bigger; to see them with their tiny red buds signaling life, put a big smile on my face.


Now that I have finished one garden cleanup, I feel so much better, more hopeful and lighter in spirit; there is just something about seeing renewed life that makes everything better.





Garden spring cleaning


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One of the most important things to do in spring is to air out the garden beds and today was the first day. Traditionally we have our local guy and friend Tracy start us off every year with leaf blowing, raking and cutting down anything that didn’t fare well during the winter. This morning when Tracy came equipped with serious tools and his minions, our daughter asked me if I was jealous, at first I thought that she meant if I was jealous that they were tackling the heavy lifting instead of me doing it on my own, the way I used to years ago, but she quickly specified the question to; if I was jealous that Tracy had minions and I didn’t, that was funny, very funny and no I am not jealous, I am thankful that Tracy’s minions worked very quickly and very diligently all day in the back. There was a lot to clear out and away.









Today was really about taking down two trees that didn’t survive the winter very well and the straggly tall bushes behind the outside jacuzzi room, the leaf removal is still a work in progress and that kind of work is more my speed.  I have to say having the backyard opened up this way has my brain on creative overload with all of the possibilities that have suddenly emerged. Light is a key factor to any gardener and now my light situation has dramatically changed; it’s going to be exciting,  not that I have to do anything right away, I should live with it for a bit before doing anything, but still, it is exciting!

Snowdrops in bloom


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Today is the first day that I made the annual tour of my gardens, too early for anything except crocuses and snowdrops, these snowdrops are the only ones I have, but I think that they are precious. The other sprouts, I forget their names, but they are cousins to the crocus, they should bloom in the next week or so if the weather continues to hold in this pattern. I went over to my mother-in-law’s house and her crocuses were up, they were in a cluster of five, delicate in their tinyness just like my snowdrops. I think that it is just amazing that something so delicate can withstand the brutal freezing shocks that we had this past winter.

It’s only April and intellectually I know that it is way too soon to see anything happen, either in the front or the back, but still with the gorgeous day outside today, it’s hard not to wish for something to show its lovely green bud.

What needs to happen during the next several weeks is the annual spring cleanup, raking and uncovering the beds, giving everything lying below the ground some much needed air and access to sunlight. The carpet of dead leaves, which provided much needed insolation and protection, has done its job and its time for the leaves to be removed. It’s a big job but someone has to do it; that’s my cue to get busy.

Trying to tame the house


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I spent the day playing catchup with the housecleaning; the laundry, cleaning the toilets and the sinks, dusting and in between walking the dogs several times, making broccoli soup and roasting chickens and potatoes.

I am pooped, so pooped that when my ever not trusty vacuum died as it always does, I said “well if you’re calling it quits, then I am too” I can vacuum the rest of the house tomorrow.

The kitchen and the rest of the house smell really good, a combination of savory, slight caramelization of potatoes and hearty broccoli, it smells like a smorgasbord that keeps on giving.

I think that part of the reason that I love cooking and baking so much is that both give results that don’t go away immediately without any appreciation like housecleaning does, no one ever says “boy are you the best toilet bowl cleaner ever” no; instead everyone just treats the toilet bowl like a toilet bowl and you have to clean it, ick, same goes with vacuuming, dusting and etc, etc.

Blandford animals have woken from winter’s rest


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These are the latest pictures from the Blandford Conservation Commission’s Facebook page; all from the past few weeks. I liked the page  long ago, so I get the latest news from the Conservation Commission and these three pictures made quite the impression. Last year there was a bear going through a dumpster on Kaolin Road and I dodged that encounter through sheer luck, I wasn’t scared for myself, it’s Jack and now that we have Lulu, for her as well. I am confident that I won’t see a Bobcat anytime soon, those are far out on the secondary roads, the bears on the other hand aren’t shy about coming into the center of town.

My concern about bears and coyotes, oh yes we have those also and they come into town, is really about the dogs. Jack thinks that he is a big dog and he wouldn’t have a moment’s hesitation asserting his protective instincts towards a bear or a coyote and Lulu being his little sister, she follows his lead in everything, would be right behind him. I’m sure that their behavior would just annoy any bear or coyote, so that is my worry.

I have had my own bear encounter and it was fine, he was on the other side of the road, I kept walking with confidence and the bear didn’t show any fear or aggression, the bear kept to its side of the road and we were just fine, each going on our own merry way. 

I hope that if we ever encounter a bear or a coyote, the dogs will follow my lead and will simply proceed along our merry way so that wild life will continue on their way. Respect is such an important word,concept and practice, not just with people but with nature and wild life.

Winter fairies and their last hoorah


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Weren’t the winter fairies kind when they decided to sweep through last night and paint the backyard? I am not worried about the wintercicles hanging from the trees, the rhododendron and the azaleas because tomorrow the thermostat is going up to the mid fifties, staying there and even above for the next several days.

Hooray! I can’t wait to see my weeping tree break out into buds, it should be soon, well not soon soon; more in the realm of soonish. It will be spectacular, can’t wait!

I am getting very excited for spring, it will come to Blandford, it may not look it, but it will.

Welcome home




When I got home, I had to look for the dogs because the house was eerily quiet. I checked our daughter’s room and I saw that she was at work, so I went to our son’s room and jackpot, the three of them sitting on the couch watching t.v. Lulu on one side and Jack on the other with our son wrapping each dog within one of his arms much like I do when I am at home. They looked adorable, the three of them.

As soon as my son said “Maman’s home” they whipped their heads around and saw me and in tandem leapt off the couch and practically bowled me over. I grabbed the little one and led the big one over to the couch so that I could kiss my son on the cheek. That is when the dogs decided that since Maman was home, going outside was what was on the agenda. They are so funny because it seems that they know which human does what and that even when the other humans do everything for them, they still know that one human is the walking human while the other human is the feeding person and all humans are good for cuddling.

Our children also know that when Maman gets home, dinner gets made for them and I can appreciate that myself because whenever I go to my mother’s house, she makes me dinner, lunch or brunch. Isn’t it great to have a mom who cooks for you? Tonight I made pasta with minced garlic, butter and I melted three pieces of Laughing Cow cheese, I forgot if I had written about using Laughing Cow before when I was out of Parmesan cheese, but it works really well, it makes the pasta nice and creamy. I’m not the only one who cooks for the kids, my husband does as well and we both enjoy doing it for them. We did make sure that they both know their way around the kitchen so that they can feed themselves when we aren’t home but they both prefer it so much more when we feed them. lol. 



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